It has been reported that nuclear energy cooperation will be a major agenda at a Korea-U.S. summit meeting scheduled for April. An ongoing lawsuit filed by Westinghouse against the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) on the grounds of a possible breach of intellectual property rights and export regulations will also be discussed, according to a person familiar with the matter in the South Korean government.
Bloomberg reported that U.S. President Joe Biden is planning to host South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol at a White House state dinner at the end of April, citing several sources. It also reported that the timing of Yoon’s state visit to the U.S., which is scheduled to take place in April, may be changed. It is the first time the U.S. media reported the White House’s plan to host President Yoon’s state visit. The Presidential Office of South Korea stated on Thursday that a state visit that the White House is reported to be planning has not been officially announced as far as it is concerned.
Although details of President Yoon’s tentative visit to the U.S. have not been finalized, it has been reported that the two countries are narrowing their differences over the plan, with the form of visit almost sure to be a state visit. It has also been reported that Foreign Minister Park Jin, on his visit to the U.S. earlier this month, received a positive note from the U.S. government about President Yoon’s state visit to the U.S. A White House state dinner will be attended by many important political and business figures. President Yoon is also expected to deliver an address to a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. The last time South Korean President was invited on a state visit to the U.S. was President Lee Myung-bak back in 2011.
The South Korean government plans to bring nuclear power cooperation between the two countries as a key summit meeting agenda. “The Westinghouse lawsuit must be addressed in the upcoming summit, as the Yoon administration focuses on exporting nuclear plants,” a high-ranking government official said. The lawsuit, filed by an American nuclear power company Westinghouse, asks a federal court to block South Korean businesses from selling nuclear reactors without the U.S. government’s approval. The Yoon Suk Yeol administration is concerned that if this issue is not properly settled, the lawsuit may strain bilateral relations and obstruct Korea’s export of nuclear reactors to other countries.
A priority agenda of the summit, should it take place, will be economic and industry issues. The government official predicted that the two leaders would discuss bilateral economic cooperation, South Korea’s participation in the U.S.’s ban on semiconductor exports to China, and win-win solutions on the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act. Alliance issues will also be a major summit meeting agenda, including U.S.’ extended deterrence strategy and military cooperation among South Korea, the U.S., and Japan.
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